Two Australian bloggers believed that the media were overhyping the dangers of travelling to Iran. So they traveled there to prove how safe it was — and were arrested.
What's the story?
Mark Firkin and Jolie King left Australia in 2017 and began travelling through Asia en route to the United Kingdom.
"Our biggest motivation ... is to hopefully inspire anyone wanting to travel, and also try to break the stigma around travelling to countries which get a bad wrap [sic] in the media," they wrote during their trip.
According to an itinerary they posted on Instagram, they travelled across Australia by car, before having their Toyota Landcruiser shipped to Malaysia so that they could continue their journey by land.
Their last Instagram post on their YouTube upload were both from June 25. King posted her last post on her personal Instagram account on June 28.
While details of the reasons for their arrests are scarce, Australia's ABC News reported that the two has been held as prisoners for about 10 weeks. The couple had been using a drone to take some of the photos and videos, something that ran afoul of Iran's strict laws, the outlet said. Persian language Manoto TV also reported that Firkin and King had been "flying a drone near the capital, Tehran."
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that his government was working to resolve this matter, but refused to provide additional details.
"These are always very sensitive cases and they are never issues that are addressed well by offering public commentary on them," he said.
In a statement reported by The Guardian, the families of both Australians said, "Our families hope to see Mark and Jolie safely home as soon as possible."